Closet Changover, Part Deux

I’ve been feelin’ like R. Kelly this weekend, I’ve been so trapped in the closet.  I’ve been dying to get Fox’s little space done and out of the way ASAP, as I finally have some direction to head in my guest room.  I’m wanting to jump on it, knock it out of the park, and have it ready for the droves of friends that are oooobviously waiting anxiously for the chance to come and visit.

My process is pretty much that I find and purchase my resources fairly cheaply and re-assemble and re-do them so that they fit within the scope of my vision.  The problem with this is, I can only thrifty juggle so many spaces at one time, I forget what I have already and end up with two sets of drapes for one room and completely naked windows in another area.  Unless I get my act together and start listing what I have and carrying faithful records, I really need to just focus on no more than three rooms at a time.  Yes, its true that there are things I’m *always* looking for, but those also usually fit into the ‘can’t have too many’ category.  Anyway, if I get this little closet thingy thing done I’ll stop thinking about Christopher Reeve in tights, and I’ll move on to the French Hotel that is my guest room, you dig?

Freshly Painted

Freshly Painted

This closet already has good bones, the shelf is already at a great height for a work surface, it is perfectly recessed into the closet so that someone can sit at the shelf and have the door closed at the same time.  Like a real, tiny-tiny office.  It was, however cream-colored like the rest of the house and GROSS, like the rest of the house.  Dude, how did they get it into the closet?  The prev-renters’ ick knows no bounds!

Originally I was going to just cheat and park a chair in there and call it ‘done,’ but the walls were just too nasty to feel good about sticking my kid in there… plus, since when have I been the girl to let a decorating opportunity go unanswered?  Never!  Then I realized that getting this space done quickly could buy me a little bit of time on decorating his bedroom.  It’s not that I don’t have an idea for his bedroom, its just that I haven’t hashed it completely out yet.  Inspiration will come, it will, and I’m busy enough as it is….  But this will help him wait while I do things like bathrooms and the kitchen, for sure.

I didn’t want to purchase paint for just a tiny smidgen of a space however, so I turned to the three cans of Benjamin Moore I’ve purchased since we’ve moved here, and the options were slim.  I have purple (from the master bedroom), bright orange (various projects under works), and mid grey.  I want to keep every bit of that purple I have left for the downstairs bath’s one painted wall, so its out.  Orange is currently Fox’s favorite color, but I just couldn’t paint the whole little space that color, he’d feel like he was doing his homework in a traffic cone.  I opted to only paint the three boards that will become his ‘desk’ the “Carrot Stick” color, and the closet itself easily– and beautifully– became “Pike’s Peak Gray.”

If the “Pike’s Peak” were any darker, the wee space would become cave-like, but right now I believe it is the perfect choice.  And by that I mean that its not just the best of the three options I had, but if I had the whole store’s shades at my fingertips, I would have been hard-pressed to come up with a better color.  A lot of his accessories are bright, he’ll have some funky and bold touches, and best of all, it compliments the generic comic book/ superhero thing I have going on.  You’ll see what I mean later, I don’t want to give it all away yet!

Anyway, a coat of the grey cleans it up considerably, as you can see from above.  I gave the three ‘desktop’ boards a couple of coats of fun orange, and with that they looked pretty good, better, but not great.  Its just that I could imagine them becoming marked on with rogue crayons and scuffed from countless shirt buttons and not looking very good for long– so I took them in that direction intentionally.  I got some sandpaper and just had at ’em, scrubbing at the edges and the high-traffic areas.  The end result is smooth, and hip, and low-pressure.  I will not worry about splotches of ink or accidental scissor gouges, there is no need.

Distressed Desktop

Distressed Desktop

At this point I got to looking and really thinking about the use of the space.  I am running a small extension cord from the playroom around into the closet and up in between two of the desk boards, primarily for the lamp.  I will likely duct tape this cord out of the ‘traffic’ (There is no real footspace, so traffic?), just to keep it in place and and so the kiddo won’t get tangled in it.  But I don’t want to see any cord mess at all.  I can’t tape it all!

And then there is the fact that there is a lot of dead space underneath that desk, headed back toward the sloping wall.  He can’t really sit under there and play, it is already too low– he is too big, whichever– for it to be comfortable for him to play underneath.  I have a large amount of craft supplies stored in old Samsonite bags, it was a way to have some sort of storage at our last place and still keep those things remotely accessible.  And I don’t want to rethink that methodology yet, but I still need my beads and buttons and things to be handy.  So… I am opting to stash them back in that dead space, as the playroom/ craft room is just right there and that will keep them hidden until I need them.

But ugh, that makes something else kind of cluttery in my eyeline when I start getting it all reassembled.  Its amazing, when *I’m* working on a project like this, it doesn’t matter if 98% of the space looks fan-frickin’-tabulous, my eye goes right to the 2% of yuck.  No yuck for me, please.

Closoffice Storage Stash

Closoffice Storage Stash

Rusty is not yuck.

I noticed that all of the storage suitcases were shorter than two of the boards of the desk’s width.  I decided to use velcro and sandwich a panel of fabric in between the front and mid board, as a sort of screen.  Velcro allows it to be removed and washed in case of muddy shoe kicks or just cat hair from hidey kitties.  It works perfectly because the little guy still has plenty of space for knees and feet, but you can’t see any of that gunk, nor is it any more difficult to get to than it was before.  Plus, I got to use that dotty grey fabric that is cute and echos the comic book dots, and is cute and is cute.  (I like cute.)  I made a simple flat panel rather than add any tucks or gathers, to help it dissolve out of sight and to keep the masculinity factor at least a little higher.  (Tough with all that ‘cute.’)  Because the base of the fabric is grey and the walls are grey, it really does sort of drift out of view.

(((In case you are trying to duplicate this project– I simply measured my space; added a couple three inches to each measurement; and cut two identical squares of cotton, one of your better fabric and one as a liner (I used white cotton cut from a nice old thrifted sheet).  Match them front sides together, and then I stitched up one side, ACROSS THE TOP, and then down the other side.  I flipped the square out like a pillowcase, pressed it, and finished my rough, open edge with a strip of extra-wide double fold bias tape to make an enclosed square.  Then I stitched velcro to the top finished edge of the panel.  I finished the top so that anything showing in the crack at the top of the desk will look polished automatically.  Hope that gets you there.)))

With the Velcroed Panel

With the Velcroed Panel

As you can see, I ran the cord for the lamp up in between the back plank and the mid, and then this curtain will be sandwiched between the mid and front planks.  They are super wide, so I am not worried about him having space to draw or write just yet.  (Just as a totally distracted side note, I think that is my silhouette to the right in this picture, but that’s a lotta curvature in the the hervature.  I would love to believe that those are my actual proportions!)  Last pic does not have the third/ front desk board in place yet.

All in all, things are coming along nicely, I have yet to figure out what I’m doing for with Fox’s seating thing (its not really a chair– see earlier Closet/ Office posts), and I want to fill in with some fun organization and those kinds of goodies.  But its starting to take shape, and kiddo is monster excited.  Can you blame him?  Now *I* want an awesome hidden office too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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